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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

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Furniture Capitol Building

Furniture Capitol Building

GRHC - September 5th, 2012

The crowning achievement of G.A. Hendricks would be his thirty-four story Furniture Capitol Building. Unfortunately the building was never constructed due to conflict with the city and the beginning of the 1929 depression.


By 1926 G. A. Hendricks had transformed two industrial buildings into exhibition showplaces for the furniture industry. The Nelson Matter Building became the Pantlind Exhibition Building in 1924; the Raniville Building became the elegant Fine Arts Building in 1926.

Hendricks was not done. His crowning achievement, planned for 1927, would connect his two buildings with his new thirty-four story Furniture Capitol Building, designed to straddle the intersection of Lyon and Campau streets.

The main structure, consisting of thirteen stories, had additional stories pyramided in a tower topped by a gilded capitol dome. A radio station in the dome would broadcast daily news of the market.

The basement and sub-basement would accommodate buyers who drove their own cars. Furniture shipped in railroad cars could be switched to the interurban tracks, which ran just north of the proposed exhibition building, thereby eliminating the need of trucking.

The combined exhibition buildings and the Pantlind Hotel were to be connected by a unique system of tunnels converging in a 35-foot square central chamber located beneath the intersection of Lyon and Campau.

Unfortunately the building, designed by local architect Benjamin Hertel, was never constructed. The city refused to allow the building to close off Lyon St. The final blow was the depression, which also caused Hendricks to lose the Fine Arts Building for unpaid taxes. The Pantlind Exhibition building, demolished in 1953, was replaced by a parking lot. 

Full Details

TitleFurniture Capitol Building
KeywordsWYCE; radio; Grand Rapids; Historical Commission; history; architecture; furniture; G.A. Hendricks
Pubdate StringSeptember 5th, 2012

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